I am considering growing a couple passion vines up a couple of ornamental Bradford Pear trees I have in my backyard. I don't really like or want the pear trees long-term, but I want to make use of them for while I have them. I was wondering if anyone here has tried or heard of good ways to do this. Let me explain what I have so far and what I'm thinking.
I have planted one vine already along the drip line of one of the pear trees (right in picture below). I planted a 10' long strong bamboo pole to help it climb to the tree limbs above it, along with a few extra to help reinforce the structure and feed into that main pole. I have been thinking of using some rope or other material to secure on the limbs and let drape down to be caught by the vine. At this location, the lower limb is only about a foot or less away from the top of the pole, so perhaps just allowing it to climb into the tree from the pole would not require any other support.
In the location I will possibly place the second passion vine, the tree is about 8 feet out from a shed. Here the distance the vine would have to climb is closer to 15'.
Here is an illustration showing the spacial relationships, and the red X's being where each vine would first hit "branch" above it:
My idea of how things will go once the vine gets into the tree is that it will primarily climb up and out along the south facing edge of the tree. In addition to creating a sort of wall of shade up to the tree at that spot, I was thinking since passion fruit is mainly ripe when it falls, I would walk around underneath the tree to collect the fruit. I'm sure it will be that easy.
they flower and fruit more in full sun.
i have them in my cherry laurel trees (not on purpose) and sometimes the flowers are up like 30 feet in the air. if there's fruit up there, i guess birds and squirrels are eating it.
Nice site, Chrissy. Thanks for the info. I am prepared to get less fruit in the partial shade of the tree if that is the trade off for using the tree as support. I plan to use the medicinal leaves primarily, fruit secondary, but ideally both. I will try to post how things go, especially if any many flowers or fruits are produced in that configuration.
I am growing two passion vines on rose apple and avocado trees that are growing so close to each other as to form one canopy. This was not planned but is working well. The seedling avocado has a tall central leader. The volunteer rose apple is a round ball whose lower branches almost touch the ground. The two nearby passion fruit vines grew out of their small pots skyward and root-ward before I saw what was happening. I chose to let the trees and vines sort things out themselves and now it looks like a passion vine topiary.
The passion fruit vines have covered the rose apple tree and all but the top 8 feet of the avocado tree. When the yellow passion fruit are ripe they fall to the ground ready for pickup.
The rose apple tree is still alive, though growing more slowly (and fruiting less) in the faint filtered light. It's initial purpose was to be a nurse tree for the cold sensitive avocado seedling, and now it has trellis duties as well. Unfortunately the avocado tree just lost its exposed top in a gusty thunderstorm, no doubt imperiled by the clinging vines.
I was so impressed with the passion vine's ability to cover sunny areas that I built a (steel) trellis over my shadeless driveway. But living trees make ideal trellis's for many vine crops.
Your bamboo stakes are a great way to encourage and protect the growing vine tips as they reach for the canopy surface. Keep us posted.
Near where I live there are vast acres of Christmasberry trees. Very little can successfully compete with these trees. But I discovered that if one pampers lilokoi vines until them have a chance to get well established, they grow great among the Christmasberry. They actually shade the trees enough to slow them down, which is great. I'm in the process of cleaning out the lower tangle of tree branches on another half acre so that I plant more lilokoi. Removing the tangle makes it far easier to harvest the fallen fruit.
Using these trees is an easy, natural trellis system. Plus it finds a use for this invasive plant. The only problem so far is the the area tends to be dry. During droughts I need to take water to the lilokoi plants so that they do not die. I lost plenty during the first drought before I realized that the plants needed more water. Now I set up very slow drip containers at each clump of plants for watering monthly during a drought. Luckily drought only happens every 4-6 years.
I'm right now in the midst of harvesting. So far I have 6 quarts of juice. I could use a lot more, thus the reason behind planting more. But the harvest season isn't over yet, so more will find its way into the freezer.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Just a thought. If it is an ornamental pear tree maybe you can graft it into an edible pear? I once asked a gardener about a wild apple tree here and he said yes it's possible but you must know what you are doing. I don't know if that would work.